On Wednesday, 25th May 2022 – John Law’s Re Creations, £18

John Law Piano

Sam Crockatt Saxes

Hendrik Jensen Bass

Alex Goodyear Drums

“. . . so full of joy that it can renew your faith not just in jazz, but in music itself”

Independent on Sunday

A prize-winning classical prodigy on piano, John turned away from classical piano studies to pursue jazz and improvised music when he was 23, and has been involved in, and acclaimed for, a wide variety of contemporary jazz and classical projects ever since – from solo piano concerts and albums, trio and quartet tours and recordings, to large scale works for his semi-classical ensemble Cornucopia.

Formed in 2016, as a counterfoil to pianist John Law’s group Congregation (which mixed contemporary jazz with electronic sounds and backing tracks), Re-Creations began life as a fun project, with the aim of playing many different tunes from different musical genres. The fact that audiences almost always knew the songs, meant the group’s material was at the same time very accessible.

This quartet’s repertoire includes jazz classics by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and George Gershwin, plus tunes from pop/rock/indie bands such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Radiohead. Gradually, classical pieces have started appearing in the repertoire, including a version of the Kyrie from Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle and Satie’s Gymnopédie.

“Melodic contemporary jazz with a strong rhythmic pulse and some strikingly memorable and original tunes”

–  Sandy Brown Jazz


Thoughts on Simon Thorpe’s “Jivin’ Miss Daisy”, 23 February 2022

We had a thoroughly enjoyable fun evening with this superb band. I have to confess that with 9 musicians, four of whom sang, there were very many mics on stage. There were a multitude of  opportunities for feedback. An eagle eye was needed on the desk. I did not have time to write notes.

So I can’t walk your through the songs, but I can say a bit about the band members. Just to say that I enjoyed every solo and the stunning horn choruses.

The revelation was Liz Fletcher. What a beautiful singer: great voice, great presentation, very sexy. She belted with the full band accompanying, and purred in the duet with Simon on bass. 

Simon Thorpe has been mothering this band since 1999. His arrangements are wonderful, and the programme was nicely variable. There was even some audience dancing to the faster numbers! Surprise,Simon sings as well. 

George Hogg  stepped in for Enrico Tomasso at the last moment. George is a delightful trumpeter. He went through quite a variety of mutes during the show. His flugel playing is mellow but still clear.

Malcolm Earl Smith Is a fine jazz singer and excellent trombonist.

Luke Annesley played alto sax and clarinet. His clarinet playing seemed  to me to be influenced by Arty Shaw, not a bad model.

Alex Garnett blew a storm on the tenor sax. He was a backing singer on one song, very good.

Colin Oxley on guitar was, as always, a real pleasure to hear.

John Pearce has played for us many times. His mastery of the piano is alway welcome.

Matt Skelton (as seen on the proms) plays the room so well.

In two weeks time, Martin Speake’s “Universal Connections”: lyricism, subtlety and great musicianship.

Take care,


Thoughts on Nighthawks: Jazz from the Movies – 9 February 2022

This band was a delight from first note to last. We had a programme of film related music: some from the movies, and some by our leader, Bassist George Trebar  It was so nice to have people who had not played for us before: George, Pete Hill on drums and pianist Roy Hilton. Altoist Matt Wates is  often with us and so welcome.

I will append the set list from Steve Jordan. It is difficult to pick out highlights as all the solos hit the spot. The first two tunes set the tone for us, by which time the band was at home with the space and the audience. Some were surprised at the fact we have a listening audience, and found that great to play to.

The theme from the file “Taxi Driver” had solos from Matt and George that told the story beautifully. Similarly on “Laura”, Georges bass solo, with strong use of vibrato caught the mysterious edgy story that the lyrics tell. I love instrumentalists who tell stories.Matt always seems to tell a story with his solos.

“Night Owls” was one of Georges tunes. Both Roy and Pete had excellent solos on this one.

I hope we see this group again soon. They were having a great time, so so did we.

Take care,



Set list:

  1. On Green Dolphin Street (Bronislaw Kaper)

Performed by Miles Davis and Bill Evans amongst others. From film of the same name from1947

  1. Night Owls (George Trebar)
  1. Stella by Starlight (Victor Young)

From film, The Uninvited. Has been performed by Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra amongst others.

  1. Theme from Taxi Driver (Bernard Herrmann)
  1. Laura (Johnny Mercer/David RaskinDune”.) From film of the same name from1944.
  1. Maudib (George Trebar) For the hero of the novel, “
  1. Gone with the Wind (Allie Wrubel/Herb Magidson)                      Popular song performed by Frank Sinatra and Clifford Brown amongst others. Not related to the film.

       *          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. Invitation (Bronislaw Kaper) Originally used in the film, ‘A Life of her Own’, but it only became a jazz standard after being used in the 1952 film of the same name.
  1. Midnight Cowboy (John Barry)
  1. 10.What are you doing the rest of your life? (Michel Legrand) from the film, ‘The Happy Ending’ (1969)
  1. 11.Sal’s Paradise (George Trebar)

Inspired by a character from Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ about the Beat Generation.

  1. 12.If I Were A Bell (Frank Loesser) from the musical, ‘Guys and Dolls’ (1950)
  1. 13. Just Friends (John Klenner). Performed by Chet Baker in his 1988 film, ‘Let’s Get Lost’. It is a jazz standard that has been performed by Sarah Vaughan, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Parker amongst others.
  1. 14.ENCORE: Straight, No Chaser (Thelonious Monk)


Thoughts on Blue Spirit, John Etheridge’s Trio on 26 January 2022

I have had lots going on at home, so I have just got around to writing about this delicious gig. So this will be a short one from me.

We had John Etheridge on just one guitar but a load of stomp boxes (up high on a music stand, finger stomp). On organ was Pete Whittaker, and George Double was on drums. This trio has lots of history, and they knew each other well. It was the three people, one mind thing. And this while having a huge amount of fun, as did the lovely audience.

The funky bluesy programme was all a delight, and John’s chat was great fun as always I am going to finish off with a set list of the programme written by Steve Jordan, for which much thanks.

Take care



Set list:

  1. Careless Love (W.C. Handy/Spencer Williams)

Best known by Madeleine Peyroux’s version

  1. Georgia On My Mind (Hoagy Carmichael/Stuart Gorrell)

Best known by Ray Charles’ version

  1. Secret Love (Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster)

Best known by Doris Day’s versionfrom Calamity Jane , later covered by Kathy Kirby

  1. Broken Hill (John Etheridge)

Best known from Soft Machine era

  1. Cold cold heart (Hank Williams)
  1. Do Like Eddie (John Scofield) Dedicated to Eddie Harris

       *          *          *           *         *        *        *

  1. God Bless The Child (Billie Holliday & Arthur Herzog Junior)
  1. Msunduza (Abdullah Ibrahim)

Performed when Ibrahim was with Dollar Brand

  1. First Moves (Sonny Rollins)
  1. 10.Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (Stevie Wonder)

Best known by Jeff Beck’s performance on ‘Blow by Blow’ but also performed by Syreeta on ‘Stevie Wonder presents Syreeta’

  1. 11.Sealed with a Kiss (Peter Udell and Gary Geld)

Best known by Brian Hyland

  1. 12.Wabash III (John Scofield)
  1. 13.Distant Voice (John Etheridge)
  1. 14.ENCORE: I’m Going Home (To See My Baby) (Gene Vincent) 

On Wednesday, 3 January 2022 – DaVES QUARTET

Dave Lyons Saxes

Maciek Pysz Marimba

Dave Jones Bass

Stee Jordan Drums

“This is highly melodic music that is readily accessible, but consistently intriguing, and full of rhythmic sophistication.  It all makes for a very distinctive album and one that deserves to do well.” – The JazzMann

A musician who cites Jan Garbarek, Ralph Towner, John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix among his influences, Julian’s playing has a sense of graceful lyricism and an inner strength, carefully crafting his improvising, which is beautifully structured and mellow.

All four musicians have strong and distinctive individual voices, but the sound they collectively produce is warm, playful, intimate, intricate, intense and, most importantly, far from banal or boring. Don’t take my word for it, look at these reviews! 

“All in all, masterfully written and played, elegant and expressive.  I’d wholeheartedly recommend giving this a listen.” – Lance Liddell,  Bebop Spoken Here, on  Connections: without borders. 

Connections is a very enjoyable and often very beautiful album, one that again demonstratesCostello’s flair for melody and his abilityto build and sustaina specific mood or feeling”. – The JazzMann